Guitarists have been using reverb pedals for years to add richness to their guitar sound. And although Jimmy Page is famously quoted as claiming that he was the one who first invented this pedal, the truth of the matter is that no one really knows who first invented it. Of course, that doesn’t really matter now because the pedals of today are far and above better than the early ones used by the Yardbirds, Led Zepplin and other bands.
Nowadays there are so many of these devices available it can be difficult for even the most accomplished guitarists to find one that they like. And that’s why we’ve decided to go ahead and track down what we feel are the top ten best reverb pedals currently available. Pedals that guitarists can use to bring an unbelievable depth to their sound and help guitarists reach their full sonic potential.
Best Reverb Pedals – Reviews
10Donner Digital Reverb Guitar Effect
This little green pedal has a classic design and is the perfect size to fit in with just about any pedal-board. Although it is a good-looking pedal, however, its real beauty comes from the wide range of features which can be found in this device. This pedal can be used to produce one of 7 different mode effects including room, church, spring, plate, studio, mod and hall reverberations. This product also has a decay knob, an e-level knob, and a tone knob, so the guitarist can create a unique wet sound. Its chassis is made with an aluminum alloy, it has an LED indicator light which shows its working status, and it has true bypass capabilities for zero tone coloration.
9Boss FRV-1 63 Fender Pedal
Based upon the original 1963 Fender Spring Reverb, this pedal is a fine collaboration between BOSS and Fender USA. This tube-driven pedal can create a stunning classic reverberation that has long been used by country guitarist and guitarist playing rockabilly, blues or even grunge. It’s a nice look and compact pedal that will fit in with most pedal-boards and features a 1/4-inch input and output jacks. This unit has a mixer knob, dwell knobs and tone knobs on it so the user can tweak their sound to perfection. And this device also has a status LED that lets the guitarist know when the unit is on.
8Biyang RV-10 3-Mode Stereo Reverb
This baby boom tri-reverb pedal has a nice compact design and clearly marked controls that make it extremely easy to use. Its chassis is made using a high-quality metal construction, and it’s sealed so dust can’t get into it. This focus on design allows this pedal to outlast even some of the more expensive pedals on the market. This device has three different modes. The modes found on this unit are Spring, Room, and Hall. This innovative also has 1/4-inch input and output jacks, and these jacks are in true stereo sound. Other capabilities found in this unit include a true bypass design and controls for blend and time.
7Xvive Max Verb Effects Pedal
This compact and brightly colored effects pedal has three exciting reverberation effects and has the controls needed to manipulate the guitarist’s sound as he or she sees fit. With this device, the guitarist can select between 1950s style plate reverb, 1960s style spring reverb or a music hall reverb that’s extremely rich. This product also has true bypass capabilities, 1/4-inch input, and output jacks, blend and time controls and an “on” light indicator. Constructed in an all-metal housing, this pedal is sure to provide these effects for many, many sessions and help the guitarist tweak their sound to their liking.
6Wampler Ethereal Delay and Reverb Effects
Guitarist need not purchase separate reverb and delay pedals when this innovative device not only includes both effects but effectively mixes the two effects for a sound that can be produced by buying the standalone pedals themselves. With this versatile device, the guitarist can produce a sound that’s either reminiscent of the jangly sound of the 1950s or can opt for a darker cathedral inspired sound. This unit has dual delay knobs and knobs for feedback, tone and reverb mix. All of these pedals are hand assembled in the United States and are made from the highest quality components available.
5TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2
Equipped with an easy-to-use mash footswitch and with true bypass capabilities for zero tone loss, this guitarist is gaining quite a bit of popularity. This unit has a high-quality build that ensures that it will stand up to years of studio or stage work. This product provides a true analog-dry-through and has two delay options that can be layered upon each other as the guitarist desires. Other features found on this unique pedal include decay, tone and level knobs, as well as a variety of different built-in reverberations including church, plate, spring, hall, and room. It also has a creative shimmer effect that can be used quite effectively.
4Ammoon Mosky MP-51 Spring
This spring reverb pedal may seem small, but it is capable of producing some pretty big effects. This unit is made with a complete metal shell that’s not only durable but extremely portable and compact as well. It contains three function knobs so that the guitarist can alter their sound as they see fit, including a level, tone, and gain knob. This unit has a 1/4-inch input and 1/4-inch monaural jacks and uses a DC 9V Ac adapter, which just so happens to not be included with this unit. Other standard features found on this unit include a true bypass capability, an LED light for displaying bypass status and an easy to depress footswitch.
3Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail Max
This pedal has a die-cast chassis and a rugged footswitch that allows it to hold up to just about anything the guitarist is willing to put it through. It also has a slate of exciting features which allows it to wet down any guitarists sound in an extremely unique fashion. This pedal has true bypass capabilities, and is only 4.75-inches by 4-inches and is 2.25-inches high. This unit also has true bypass capabilities and has four different reverb settings: hall, plate, spring and even reverse reverb. All of these features make this reverb pedal one of the better ones currently available and a model that many guitarists will enjoy using.
2TC Electronic HOF Mini Pedal
Many people would overlook this incredible pedal because of its small size or because of its limited number of control knobs, but that would be a mistake because what this pedal lacks in size it more than makes up for in functionality. Thanks to Tone Print technology, this pedal doesn’t need a bunch of dials or button to deliver the exact type of reverb the guitarist needs because it provides an almost unlimited amount of reverbs which can be used on the pedal. This enables this pedal to only have a footswitch and a reverb button, and that’s about it. Whatever genre of music you play, this reverberation pedal is sure to come in handy.
1Boss RV-6 Digital Reverb
Everything a guitarist would expect in a good reverb pedal can be found on this pedal, maybe even more. This well-built and professionally designed unit features four control knobs which give the user an incredible amount of control over the wetting of their sound. The knobs which can be found on this unit include E.Level, Tone and Time, but probably the most impressive knob that can be found on this pedal is the actual Reverb Knob itself. Using this knob, the guitarist can select between spring, plate, room and hall effects, and can also add shimmer or dynamic delays. And all of this can be found in this reverb pedal that produces very professional results.
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What Does a Reverb Pedal Do?
Before you can understand why you may need a reverb pedal, the first thing you need to learn is what exactly this pedal does in the first place. In the simplest of terms, a reverb pedal recreates the reverberation that one would hear if they watched a concert at a particular concert hall or theater. Reverb is the reverberation or the return of the sound to the listener after it has struck a surface and returned. Otherwise known as resonance, it’s an effect that can bring a profound richness and depth to the guitarist’s sound that can’t be replicated in any other way, except for maybe traveling to different locations to take advantage of their unique acoustic possibilities.
Types of Reverb Typically Available
Now that we know just exactly what a reverb pedal does, it’s time to break down some of the different types of reverb that can be created with one of these pedals. There are four basic types of reverberation, and these include Spring, Plate, Chamber/Hall, and Digital Reverb. Let’s take a minute to look at a brief overview of what each particular type sounds like.
Spring Reverb: When reverb was first invented, this was likely the first effect produced. The spring reverb is reminiscent of the sound reverberating through a metal spring. This gives the sound a metallic vibe to it and many people often think of this sound as somewhat of a vintage sound. Reverb pedals tend to reproduce this sound through a digital chip, but some amp manufacturers actually include reverb in their amps by placing a spring mechanism in them.
Chamber Reverb: Chamber reverb, also known as hall reverb, is the guitar sound literally bouncing off a wall and returning to the guitarists. And this effect alone can be quite customizable. After all, every guitarist knows that each space has a profound effect on their sound, and by using a reverb pedal they can recreate some of this atmosphere.
Plate Reverb: This effect is also a metallic sound, but instead of the notes sounding like they’re being passed through a spring, they sound like they’ve been passed through a metal plate. This effect gives the guitarist probably the widest options as far as their sound goes because the original sound can be mixed back in with the reverb to give the guitarist control over how much reverb saturation is in their sound.
Digital Reverb: The sound can quickly recreate echoes in a guitarist sound and is probably one of the most done, and overdone, effects that guitarists use today. This effect allows the guitarists to tweak their sound almost as much as they want to create their own unique and interesting sound.
Common Reverb Controls
After you’ve learned all of the incredible effects that can be created using only your guitar and your reverb pedal, it’s time to take a few moments to consider the controls that can be found on these pedals. Although the controls found on a reverb pedal may seem strange to the uninitiated, they actually have a definite purpose that’s easy to use once you’re familiar with them. The most common controls found on these pedals include Effect Ratio, Decay Time, Pre-Delay Time and Tone. While not all reverb pedals may all of these controls, and some may have even more controls and dials, these four are probably the most important. Let’s take a closer look at them.
Effect Ratio: Effect ratio is very simply the difference between the guitar’s sound and the reflected sound that is added in by the effect. When the effect ratio of the reverb is lowered, it makes the guitarist’s notes sound further away, and when it’s cranked up, his or her guitar sounds closer. Guitarists often call this effect drying or wetting the mix.
Decay Time: This control is also known as reverberation time and is simply the amount of time it takes for the guitarists “wet” sound to diminish until it’s no longer able to be heard. Guitarists can play around with this effect, but usually, most guitarists set their decay time at around 40-60 decibels. The smaller the delay, the smaller the room reverberation sounds.
Pre-Delay Time: This control determines how much time passes between the introduction of the guitarist’s original sound (the dry sound) and the start of the reverberation (the wet sound). Using this effect, the guitarist can basically increase or decrease the space between the guitar, the reflecting wall and finally, the end listener. For example, a 100-millisecond pre-delay will sound like the listener is in the middle of a 50-foot by 50-foot room.
Tone: Tone is probably the simplest of all the control. Everyone is familiar with tone, and by adjusting this control, the guitarist can make their sound either darker or brighter.
The Last Reverberation
At this point in the guide, you probably have a pretty good idea at what to look for in a pedal and how to manipulate the pedal in a way that creates the sound that YOU want to create. It doesn’t matter if you want to create a classic rock sound, a heavy metal sound or even a country-western sound, a reverb pedal can give you the tools you need to thrive. In fact, it really doesn’t matter what genre you play, a reverb pedal is going to give you an incredible collection of tools.
However, since the subject of reverb is extremely vast and we could fill encyclopedic volumes with how these devices work and how to use them, it’s best to keep things short. We would like to list just a few more things that you might want to consider when buying a reverb pedal. The following features are things that you may (or may not) want in your pedal. Either way, it’s important to think about whether you need them or not before you actually purchase the pedal.
Some Final Things to Consider:
- Stereo or Mono Capabilities
- True Bypass Capabilities
- The Number of Inputs
- The Number of Outputs
- Status Effect LEDs